Trent Branch News

From Allan Gimson and Helen Westwood

In common with other Branches, Coronavirus restrictions have had a tremendous effect on our Branch calendar. Contact during lockdown has been restricted to personal calls and emails between members, together with global emails from our Branch Committee.

There has been a tremendous response from all the catering staff in the hospitals that we serve, with staff maintaining the service to staff and patients. Of course, we have seen many changes, but caterers are always known for being flexible and adapting at very short notice. After all, our service can never be cancelled or delayed – people do tend to notice if they are not fed on time.

Nicola Strawther reports that in response to the pandemic, a private hospital, The Park, supported Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) by taking some NHS patients, including upper gastrointestinal patients. “We had to take immediate action to support this patient group and their specific nutritional requirements by providing education on IDDSI to the catering team and operational leads at The Parks,” says Nicola. “NUH catering supplied IDDSI meals alongside meals from the NUH Memory menu to maintain patient care.

“We are continuing to manage varying products being discontinued in the supply chain,” continues Nicola. “We have a strong Power of 3 relationship, which meant we had minimal delays in menu developments, with five menu reviews under way alongside developments to our meal ordering system and back-of-house product management. Training podcasts are also in development for all our catering team members to access to enhance their knowledge and skills on nutrition in hospital.”

Chris Neale, also from NUH, reported that, “we have worked closely with our retail partner (Elior) to provide a 24/7 restaurant facility over both our sites, giving colleagues the opportunity to get a hot meal through the night and a place for respite.”

Lynsey Hawkins, Sales Development Manager, Free Trade Multiples, at Bidfood, recently informed us that the company has been promoting the work it has been doing to support the NHS via its social media channels. The company also recently launched its √Self guide (as reported in the News pages of Hospital Caterer June 2020 issue), which has helped promote and support the mental wellbeing of NHS frontline staff during the pandemic. “Our focus moved to supporting our frontline workers with tangible insight and advice into mental wellbeing in the NHS, with regard to what is available for workers and what to consider in their diets,” says Lynsey.

Our very best wishes go out to all our colleagues across the HCA.

Finally, Tracy Winder, Assistant Foodservices Manager at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, is pictured below (in royal blue top) receiving a winner’s positivity award on behalf of the catering team for everything they have done to stay positive and support patients and colleagues during the pandemic.

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